Community Shield Match Report - Man Utd Edge It On Penalties...

Monday, 6 August 2007

Man Utd won the Community Shield thanks to some uncharacteristically good goalkeeping from the man we all like to call “Blunder” Sar. The whispers coming out of Old Trafford suggest that it’s only a matter of time before Ben Foster is the No.1 goal keeper at Man Utd. But with Foster sidelined with a cruciate injury and Van Der Sar producing a fine penalty saving performance yesterday, its clear Man Utd may be stuck with bean pole goalkeeper for a few more months to come.

You have to wonder whether the mind games have begun already. Prior to kick off Mourinho announced, that they would be without their 2 most important players, Drogba and Terry for an unknown period of time. Of course this gives a lot of hope to the rest of the premiership; but what are the chances of us seeing Drogba start the Birmingham game on Sunday? I think the chances are very high. Mourinho is clearly revelling in the underdog role at the moment.

Chelsea started the match with no recognised striker, with Joe Cole, SWP and Malouda leading the line. As you would expect they struggled to break down the United defence, with the long ball tactic strangely ineffective, especially considering the combined height of Cole and SWP as approx 6ft 2”. Man Utd dominated early proceedings, with Evra looking particularly dangerous on the left wing. After some clever interplay between Evra and Ronaldo, Evra produced a brilliant cut back which found the ageing Giggs who produced a clinical finish to give Man Utd a much deserved lead. Thankfully Giggs decided not to whip off his top and race around the pitch as he did 1999, reminding everyone that he has the equivalent of the Amazon forest on his chest.

As we all know Chelsea are the most resilient team in world football, and promptly equalised after some brilliant Drogba-esque play from new signing Malouda. After a long ball from the hugely impressive Ashley Cole, Malouda latched onto it and bullied the life out of Rio Ferdinand, in a manner similar to a blow up doll on a stag night. He then produced a superb finish with the outside of his left foot that any striker would be proud of.

"Oi Rio, you got murked!!!!"

Man Utd then continued the apply the pressure with Ronaldo producing some fine footwork, which culminated in him being denied by a brilliant save from Petr Cech.

The introduction of Pizzarro gave Chelsea more of an attacking impetuous, but penalties were as inevitable as a wet English summer. I’m still wondering why Cech continues to wear that headgear? Its probably like contracting an STD, you soon realise that not wearing a condom isn’t really a good idea. He proceeded to take it off for the penalty shootout and didn’t come close to saving any of the penalties, makes you wonder whether the helmet is the source of his incredible saving abilities.

Van Der Sar produced three decent, but rather bread and butter saves to deny Chelsea; with Lampard missing yet another penalty, which was probably his most noticeable contribution on the day. So Man Utd take the psychological advantage into the league season, and Mourinho is as deluded as ever claiming that Man Utd were not the better side (shades of Anfield 2005 and 2006 spring to mind). Let’s not forget Chelsea are the only side to lift the trophy and go on to win the league that season in the last 9 years, so maybe it’s a blessing in disguise for Mr Mourinho.

Man of the match

Ashley Cole, he was instrumental in nullifying the Ronaldo threat again. I think Ronaldo’s family have probably migrated firmly into Ashley Cole’s Pocket.

H.G. Wells “Invisible Man” Award

Goes to Frank Lampard who was totally and utterly abject. I can’t think of one noticeable contribution he made throughout the whole match. He probably makes more of an impact on a weighing scale than he does on a football pitch these days.

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